Article date: 10 November 2004
The UK's leading insurer, Norwich Union, haswelcomed an announcement from the Government that they areconsidering overhauling Britain's compensation system.
Today's decision by Lord Falconer to addressproblems within the current legal system and to target theassociated issues that have lead to Britain developing a so-called'have a go' culture will be greeted favourably by many.
Unrealistic expectations amongst claimantsfuelled by a 'non-win, no-fee' system which encourages anyone topursue a claim for anything and everything has lead for calls frommany commentators for change. The banning of advertising byaccident management companies in NHS hospitals and the regulationof such firms are two areas that will rightly come under scrutinyby a new action group that will be created by the MinisterialSteering Group.
Norwich Union's director of technical claims,Dominic Clayden, said: "This announcement is an important step inthe necessary modernisation of our system of compensation and weare particularly pleased to see that the Government has recognisedthe importance of rehabilitation, risk management and the need toreview current small track limits.
"We believe it is not just about compensatingpeople quickly and fairly it’s also about addressing thosebehaviours that created an unsustainable system and the ‘havea go culture’ in the first place."
Clayden continued: "We anticipate that a moreefficient legal framework will provide a stable environment forthose who provide compensation. Consequently not only will we seeclaims settled faster but customers and businesses will benefitfrom more predictable and sustainable premiums."
Norwich Union has championed several changes tothe existing system, specifically:
- Prescribing service levels for settling claims to ensurepeople are helped more quickly
- Ensure the system is seen to be transparent as regards bothdamages and costs
- Setting realistic time limitations to encourage earlynotification and discourage spurious claims which clog up thesystem and are to the detriment of genuine claimants
- Raise the existing 'fast track' claims limitsignificantly
- Changing the law to ensure the wrongdoer has first andunfettered opportunity to accept responsibility and agree theprocess by which compensation will be valued
- Introduce penalties for those parties who delay the lifecycleof a claim beyond prescribed and reasonable time limits.
Norwich Union has been a key contributor to thecontinuing debate around the compensation culture and participatedin a range of Government consultations and workshops. The insurerhopes to continue its involvement in this debate and has stated itswillingness to assist the Governments proposed action group.
For further information, please contact:
David Ross at Norwich Union on 08703 66 68 65 or 07786 526350.
Notes to editors
- Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 14 per cent
- With a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses, Norwich Union insures:
- one in five households
- one in seven motor vehicles
- more than 800,000 businesses
- Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.
- Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of imagesare available on the Aviva internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.
- An ISDN facility is available for studio quality broadcast.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68
- For all life & pensions media enquiries 08703 66 6873
For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68
- Members of the General Insurance Standards Council
- Members of the Aviva group